Artists: Pepe Becker (soprano), Helen Webby (harp)
Pepe Becker and Helen Webby met while studying at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague, Holland, in 1992. Since returning to New Zealand in 1993, Pepe founded Baroque Voices, and continues to perform regularly as a soloist and as a member of Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir. Most recently, she sang a duet with world-renowned countertenor Andreas Scholl during his sole New Zealand performance in Auckland.
Helen Webby graduated from the University of Auckland with a BMus in Harp. As well as studying at The Hague, Helen completed a Masters degree in harp and music teaching from the Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg, Germany. Since 2000, Helen has been Principal Harpist with the Christchurch Symphony. Recently, Helen founded the Christchurch Harp School, and is passionately spreading the magic of the harp far and wide.
Hildegard von Bingen - O viridissima virga
Guillaume de Machaut - 2-3 part virelai
Purcell - If music be the food of love
Handel - “Lascia ch’io pianga” from Rinaldo
Spohr - Fantasie
Schumann - Requiem
Ravel - Chanson de la mariée
Fauré - En prière
Philip Cannon (b.1926) - 3 songs from “Five Songs of Women”
Gareth Farr - Still Sounds Lie
Helen Bowater - Hihi
Helen Bowater - hoshi no hayashi (Forest of the Stars)
Irish folk songs
This enchanting programme tells the tales of birth, death, and lovers’ unions. Beginning with haunting Medieval monody (11th century chant with harp drone), it progresses through to Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th century and contemporary works, and comes full circle by ending with arrangements of Irish folk songs.
In Schumann’s Requiem, the full gamut of human emotion is expressed in the story of these ill-fated medieval lovers, while in Handel’s famous aria Lascia ch’io pianga, Almirena mourns her fate after being taken away from her beloved Rinaldo. The texts in works by Gareth Farr and Helen Bowater speak of the beauty and mystery of nature; both composers have skilfully set their music to reveal an ecstatic reverence and radiance expressed in the poetry.
Proudly presented by the Rotorua Music Federation Inc.